Karachi Print

When I am old and grey, I want to step out into a world where people’s differences aren’t questioned and stereotyped, where mediocre isn’t the norm, and where people aren’t dying from diseases they have the power to prevent.

Karachi, 22, is a senior in college and a member of the Young Women of Color Leadership Council.

Although I grew up in a country where much wasn’t said about homophobia, racism, or sexism, I witnessed my fair share of everyday injustice and inequality. I was raised as part of a large extended family; my grandparents, uncles, and aunts all did their best to make sure I did not feel the absence of a father - he had left my mother and I when I was only a year old and died the year I turned nine. Growing up as part of a bigger picture, I learned to understand the need for compassion and acceptance. I made friends with people around me quickly; I was a quiet but amiable child who constantly daydreamed about growing up to be wealthy and influential, but only so I could open my home to the beggars and destitute on the street as some kind of halfway house.

I was introduced to advocacy for the first time at the 2009 Advocates for Youth Urban Retreat. I had previously been working as part of a community-oriented organization dedicated to educating the students at Morgan State University about the dangers of STDs/STIs and HIV/AIDS but I’d never had any experience with policy advocacy. Learning that I had the right and the ability to speak my mind when I witnessed inequality and demand necessary changes was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. My personality and general philosophy have led me to naturally question phenomena around me, searching for reasons and causes, and lending a voice to the voiceless. I always ask myself “How would I feel if I was in the other person’s shoes?”

When I am old and grey, I want to step out into a world where people’s differences aren’t questioned and stereotyped, where mediocre isn’t the norm, and where people aren’t dying from diseases they have the power to prevent. That might mean that people like me will not be needed anymore to spread the word. It would also mean that youth advocates and activists alike everywhere have done their work properly. I am a strong believer in individuality and diversity; youth need to know that they can stand out and make a difference without waiting for someone else to take the lead. As a youth advocate, I hope to provide a good example for those around me by showing how passionate I am about rights and responsibility.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. - Albert Pike

 

 

 

 
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